Centre A is a small multi-purpose hall for high schools operated in a beautiful forest in Nagano which is the middle region of Japan. The coniferous forest at an altitude of 1,000 m shows various expressions throughout the four seasons. In such an environment, this hall is designed to be used in various ways so that it can be used as a base for students to learn and live independently.
This architecture has a composition in which multiple boxes are connected in a ring shape. Each box functions as a separate classroom for small classes, and when all boxes are opened and transformed into one large studio, it functions as a mini theater, conference space, gallery, living space, etc. These situation is similar to leaning against a tree in the woods and having a conversation, or finding a space surrounded by trees and spending time with multiple people.
In order to create a highly flexible space that can be used by students in various ways, no pillars are placed other than the outer wall, and the large span is supported by wooden truss beams. They are laid beyond various defined areas. The height and orientation of the truss beams make the virtual ceiling perceive and give a sense of area that is not bound by a planned plane diagram. They promote the formation of diverse activity scenes. In addition, movable partitions are hung on these truss beams so that each box can be closed or one large studio can be partitioned. It also can be set freely in various scales.
In this architecture, various spaces are created by the students' voluntary actions without being bound by the school system, leading to various activities. It is a continuation of the life that people once lived in the woods, and is a learning in itself.